Marilyn Monroe ordered naked pool photo shoot to try to eclipse Elizabeth Taylor’s fame
In 1960 Marilyn Monroe was deeply jealous of Elizabeth Taylor and posed nude in a bid to become more popular than her.
Marilyn Monroe hoped to generate as much publicity as her rival’s public relationship with Richard Burton by baring all.
However, in a newly released interview Marilyn Monroe also realized how futile it was and told a photographer: “It’s still about nudity. Is that all I’m good for?”
The startling disclosures add yet another layer to one of the most enduring legends Hollywood has ever seen – and a fresh insight into the woman Marilyn Monroe really was.
They come from her conversations with photographer Larry Schiller between 1960 until her death in 1962 at the age of just 36.
In Larry Schiller’s memoir, Marilyn And Me, he says the two met when Marilyn hatched a plan to force Hollywood giants Fox Studios to take her more seriously so they would “start paying me as much attention as they are paying to Elizabeth Taylor”.
At the time Elizabeth Taylor was earning $1million a film for epics like Cleopatra. Marilyn Monroe was getting paid a mere $100,000 for Something’s Got To Give, from which she was sacked.
Marilyn Monroe posed for a set of photographs in which she entered a swimming pool with a bathing suit – and came out naked.
She told Larry Schiller: “Larry, if I do come out of the pool with nothing on, I want your guarantee that when your pictures appear on the covers of magazines Elizabeth Taylor is not anywhere in the same issue.”
When Hugh Hefner agreed to pay $25,000 for one nude picture Marilyn Monroe told Larry Schiller that it was worth every penny.
The actress said with a laugh: “There isn’t anybody that looks like me without clothes on.”
The conversations between the two, which appear in this month’s issue of Vanity Fair, also give an insight into how insecure Marilyn Monroe was.
She told Larry Schiller that she wore her public persona as a “veil” over her real identity.
Marilyn Monroe once told him: “It’s still about nudity. Is that all I’m good for?
‘”’d like to show that I can get publicity without using my ass or getting fired from a picture. I haven’t made up my mind yet.”
Over the previous two years they had spoken at length and in 1960 Marilyn Monroe admitted was wracked by insecurity.
“I could tell you all about rejection,” Marilyn Monroe said to Larry Schiller.
“Sometimes I feel my whole life has been one big rejection.”
“But look at you now,” he said.
“Exactly,” she replied.
“Look at me now.”
Confused, Larry Schiller protested: “You’re a star! Your face is on magazine covers all over the world! Everyone knows Marilyn Monroe!”
“Let me ask you… how many Academy Award nominations do I have?”
“I don’t know,” he said.
“I do,” she said.
Marilyn Monroe even confided her deepest fears that she would end up like her mother who had been a mental patient for much of her life.
She also told him that she “always wanted a baby” but “having a child, that’s my biggest fear”.
Marilyn Monroe said: “I want a child and I fear a child. Whenever it came close, my body said no and I lost the baby.”
Since her death, Marilyn Monroe’s life has been the subject of endless speculation, not least her rumored affair with former U.S. President John F. Kennedy.
Her former stylist George Masters recently claimed that the actress spent her last night alive in Frank Sinatra’s lodge in Nevada with the head of the American Mafia.
Although she never won an Oscar, Marilyn Monroe did win a Golden Globe for her performance in the 1959 comedy Some Like It Hot, another Golden Globe nomination and a BAFTA nomination.
Marilyn Monroe was married and divorced three times and died childless.
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